On March 7, Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act of 2017 (H.R. 1377). Previous versions of the TIME Act have been introduced in past years, but none have been signed into law. The legislation seeks to limit the use of 14(c) subminimum wage certificates and eventually phase out the program. Changes made in the current version include:
A.The TIME act is no longer a wage bill but a jobs bill intended to remove barriers to employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
B.Removal of the findings section.
C.Conditions for renewal of 14(c) certificates. Certificate holders will be required to provide to the Secretary of Labor individualized assessments of their workers paid subminimum wages. Certificate holders will be required to identify the barriers preventing each individual from transitioning to competitive and integrated employment along with the resources they have provided in order to mitigate those barriers.
D.Publication. The Secretary of Labor will be required to make the information gathered in section C publicly available on its website.
E.Enforcement. Certificate holders that fail to provide the individualized assessments will be considered in violation of an order or regulation from the Secretary of Labor.
F.Additional Time to Phase-Out 14(c). Certificate holderswill have six years to transition their facilities into competitive and integrated employment settings.
In a statement, Rep. Harper said, “Section 14(c) of the FLSA, enacted out of a false understanding regarding the true capacity of people with disabilities, currently prevents nearly two-hundred thousand people with disabilities from gaining access to the work and training environments that build their capacity and allow them to acquire meaningful skills and better employment opportunities. Segregated work, which too often focuses on mundane tasks that are not transferable to today’s workplaces, is just an expression of low expectations that instills a false sense of incapacity in individuals who could become competitively employed with the proper training and support. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the bipartisan goal of increasing and improving employment opportunities for all Americans with disabilities.”
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